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This Greek pasta dish ‘itsio’ good, you have to try it

Pastitsio
Pastitsio is a pasta dish that incorporates two different kinds of meat in a tomato sauce with warm spices and a delicious bechamel sauce on top.

It’s not often I can stump Joey with a recipe.

He’s the king of the spice cabinet and my go to when I know a recipe needs “something,” but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

So when I managed to completely confuse him this week, I was a little proud of myself. Well, I was actually proud of TV chef Ina Garten, but who’s counting?

The dish I put in front of my husband? A delicious, tomato-y pasta. The secret ingredient? Cinnamon.

Now, I know that sounds insane, but trust me when I say it gave this dish a deep, fall-like flavor profile that made it tough not to want seconds, and it is definitely worth a try, although I will warn you this is not a quick recipe. Be ready to have a couple hours to blow on creating this amazing dish.

While this week’s recipe is Garten’s creation, I found it on the blog “Vodka and Biscuits.” You can find the original post at http://www.vodkaandbiscuits.com/2016/10/07/ina-gartens-pastitsio/. I added extra garlic, oregano and thyme and used pork in my version.

Pastitsio
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Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a pasta dish that incorporates two different kinds of meat in a tomato sauce with warm spices and a delicious bechamel sauce on top.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword cinnamon, dry red wine, garlic, ground beef, ground pork, oregano, parmesan, thyme, tomatoes, yellow onion

Ingredients

Meat Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound pork
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine I used pinot noir
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Bechamel Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk I used skim
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan divided
  • 5.3- ounce container plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 pound tubular pasta I used penne

Instructions

  • In a large pot or deep skillet, cook the onion, ground beef and pork (crumbling the meat as you go) until the meat is cooked through and the onions are soft. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  • Stir in the wine and saute until it is absorbed into the mixture. Add the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and cayenne and saute another two minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly and squishing the tomatoes so that they break down into a sauce.
  • After the sauce has been simmering around 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • For the bechamel, start by melting the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Once it is melted, stir in the flour and cook for about two minutes. Whisk in the milk and continue stirring constantly, raising the heat to bring the mixture to a low simmer (just below boiling).
  • Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of the grated parmesan. Once the cheese melts, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
  • While your bechamel comes together, boil your pasta according to package directions to al dente. After draining, mix it into the tomato sauce.
  • Now it’s time for assembly. In a deep nine-by-13-inch pan, spread the tomato/pasta mixture evenly. Drizzle the bechamel over the top, and then finish off with the rest of the grated parmesan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is browned and the mixture is bubbly.
  • Serve with some crusty bread.

This does take quite awhile to come together, but it makes plenty for a big family meal, and it got rave reviews at our table. It also reheated great for leftovers. 

It may have a few surprising ingredients, but it was still a home run for dinner at our house.

Plus, if you have a spices expert, it might be fun to play your own version of “stump the chump.” Even if they lose, they’ll still win with a great meal.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 9, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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Main Dish

Casserole should tread care’philly’ with its cheesesteak claims

This casserole is a quick weeknight meal with lots of cheesy flavor, complimented by bell peppers and mushrooms.

There are tons of great copycat recipes out there.

I was blown away several years ago to learn that you can make a pretty convincing Butterfinger candy bar with candy corn and a few other ingredients. I also once tried a great recipe claiming to mirror Starbucks’s lemon bread.

So when I tried a casserole this week that promised to mimic the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak, I was intrigued. I have only gotten the opportunity to visit Philadelphia once, and if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend getting one of their famous sandwiches.

Unfortunately, this week’s recipe was not a great substitute. Fortunately, though, it was just a solid, tasty casserole. So I decided to rename it and present it to you. It has great flavor, and it comes together quickly, which is something a lot of us need in our lives now that school activities are starting up again.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog, “Bowl me Over.” You can find the original post at https://bowl-me-over.com/philly-cheesesteak-baked-tortellini-recipe/. I added mushrooms, extra roast beef and seasonings to my version.

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Bell Pepper Baked Tortellini Casserole

This casserole is a quick weeknight meal with lots of cheesy flavor, complimented by bell peppers and mushrooms.
Course Main Course
Keyword Alfredo sauce, bell pepper, casserole, cheese tortellini, cream cheese, garlic powder, mushrooms, onion powder, provolone, roast beef

Ingredients

  • 19 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 15 ounces frozen bell pepper strips or use fresh
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 15 ounces Alfredo sauce
  • 2 ounces cream cheese I used fat free
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound deli roast beef sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
  • Cook the tortellini according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips and mushrooms and saute until the peppers are lightly browned and soft.
  • Add the Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, seasonings and roast beef and stir.
  • Once the cream cheese is melted and everything is well combined, fold in the tortellini.
  • Dump the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the slices of provolone, overlapping them as needed.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

This casserole was filling and cheesy and hit the spot for dinner. Plus, it reheated really well for lunches later in the week. 

It certainly wasn’t a good facsimile for an actual Philly cheesesteak, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. I guess I’ll just have to wait for another East Coast trip to taste the real thing, but until then, at least I have a quick dinner recipe to add to my list.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 2, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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Main Dish

A gift of casserole is not easy to ‘spaghett’

Baked spaghetti is an easy-to-assemble casserole that can be baked right away or frozen for a future meal.

Whenever a friend or family member is under the weather or hurt or grieving, one of my first inclinations is to try to feed them. 

An article from 2016 by Adam McDaniel lays out the reasons human beings love to share food—part of it being sharing culture and part of being sociology.

“Food has a knack for bringing people together, forging bonds and creating conversation,” he wrote.

Sharing food is a way for us to help understand one another, and in the case of a sick or injured friend, I would argue that it’s one of the few ways I feel like I can nurture someone—since I’ve decided to forgo getting a medical degree.

That desire to care for someone is the reason this week’s recipe is absolutely perfect. It’s not only an easy weeknight dinner that is a true crowd pleaser, but it’s easy to toss in the freezer to enjoy later—making it a great gift when someone might need an extra meal at their house.

This comes from the blog “The Cozy Cook.” You can find the original post at https://thecozycook.com/baked-spaghetti/. I changed up some of the amounts of ingredients and the herbs and spices in my version.

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Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti is an easy-to-assemble casserole that can be baked right away or frozen for a future meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword basil, bell pepper, casserole, cream cheese, freezer meal, garlic, green onion, ground beef, ground sausage, marinara sauce, mozzarella, oregano, parmesan, parsley, ricotta, spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 32 ounces marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (If you’re baking this right away. It can also be prepared for the fridge or freezer.). Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray, and set it aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • In a large skillet, brown the hamburger and sausage over medium heat until cooked through, crumbling as you cook. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add in the onion, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper, and saute until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the garlic and saute for about one more minute.
  • Add the marinara sauce, ricotta, parmesan and cream cheese. Reduce the heat to low, and stir constantly until the cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are well-combined.
  • Add the cooked, drained pasta and stir to coat all of the pasta with the sauce.
  • Add half of the pasta to the prepared dish, and top it with half of the mozzarella. Add the other half of the pasta, and finish with the rest of the mozzarella.
  • If refrigerating or freezing, cover the dish with a double layer of aluminum foil. If not, bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown around the edges. Let the casserole sit for about five minutes before digging in.
  • If you’re baking it later, let it thaw in the refrigerator, and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes covered and then uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown around the edges.

This was cheesy and warm and very simple—everything I look for in a quick weeknight meal. In my case, I made a double batch, baking one for Joey and I that night and assembling another to deliver to someone I thought could use a night off from cooking.

If you decide to follow suit, I highly recommend using a large stock pot to cook in. I ended up having some trouble with fitting all the ingredients in my large skillet.

And even if you don’t have someone to deliver this to, you might make a double batch and freeze one for yourself for a future evening that you need a night off.

Sometimes a gift to yourself can be just as comforting. 

This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 18, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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Main Dish

You’ll have ‘fillings’ for this pot pie casserole

Chicken pot pie casserole is a great, homestyle meal that comes together quickly and easily for a weeknight meal.

I have a ton of amazing memories about my paternal grandma, who passed away in 2012. She was such an awesome person and a crazy good cook.

Near the end of her life, she invited me over to her small apartment for dinner—just the two of us. She made a chicken and biscuits meal with some mixed veggies in it that was perfectly belly-filling and delicious. And, since she and I both had a serious ice cream addiction, we ended supper with a big bowl of it for dessert.

I don’t remember what all we chatted about while we sat at her small table, but I do remember the meal, which I suppose highlights the power of food in how we bond with one another.

That seemingly insignificant dinner popped into my memory this past week, when I stumbled on a recipe for a chicken and dumpling casserole. It reminded me so much of the meal she and I shared.

The recipe I used comes from the blog “Plain Chicken,” and while I generally like the base of this blog’s recipes, I often feel the need to add quite a bit to make them less, well, “plain.” You can find the original post at https://www.plainchicken.com/chicken-dumpling-casserole. I added herbs and veggies to my version, so I decided to dub it a “pot pie” casserole instead of just dumplings.

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Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Chicken pot pie casserole is a great, homestyle meal that comes together quickly and easily for a weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Keyword canned biscuits, casserole, chicken, dumplings, easy, mixed vegetables, pot pie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken cooked and shredded
  • 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10.75 ounces cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and then spread the shredded chicken and mixed vegetables over top of it.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and milk until it’s smooth, and pour the mixture as evenly as you can over top of the chicken. You don’t need to stir or spread it out.
  • In the same mixing bowl (why cause more dishes?), whisk the cream of chicken soup, broth and herbs and spices together until smooth and pour it evenly into the baking dish. Again, you don’t need to stir or spread it out.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until the biscuit dough is a golden brown on top.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.

The mashed potatoes were a perfect touch to give this casserole a very homestyle taste. The night I made this, I actually only had a bag of frozen carrots in the freezer, so ours was missing all of the mixed veggies goodness, but we still really enjoyed it.

As a side note, I used a rotisserie chicken for my version, and then after Joey graciously shredded all the meat off of it for me, I boiled the carcass for about 20 minutes with the herbs listed above to make my broth instead of buying some. It worked really well, and I had some broth left over to put in the freezer for next time.

I can’t tell you what recipe Grandma used when she and I sat down to our casserole nearly a decade ago, but as the old cliché goes, I know the main ingredient was love, and that’s really all that matters.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 13, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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Main Dish

Here’s the ‘ravi-only’ quick dinner recipe you need

An easy ravioli bake is a quick crowd pleaser for nights when you need to get dinner on the table without a lot of time.

There’s something about May that makes Joey and I busier than normal, it seems. I think it’s just the rushing around of all the end-of-school items that need to get into the newspaper, along with all the excitement of events coming up in the summer that keep us on our toes.

That, unfortunately, means May includes a lot more trips to eat out for dinner, as it’s normally not easy to cook a meal when you and your spouse are both getting home from work at almost 8 p.m.

But the other night ,I actually arrived home at a fairly decent hour, and I excitedly preheated my oven, knowing I had the perfect recipe to make on the fly that could be ready before Joey walked in the door.

The recipe I used is labeled as a “lazy lasagna” by the author, but I will say it’s more like a pasta bake than a lasagna, since it doesn’t really hold together like a lasagna does.

That’s not to say it isn’t awesome, though.

The recipe I got was from the website “InstruPix.” You can find it at https://www.instrupix.com/3-ingredient-ravioli-bake-lazy-lasagna/. The original recipe just calls for the ravioli, sauce and cheese. I added some spices to it, because I tend to think jarred sauce lacks some pizazz, but if you have a favorite one that is spiced the way you like it, skip my additions and just toss those three ingredients together.

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Easy Ravioli Bake

An easy ravioli bake is a quick crowd pleaser for nights when you need to get dinner on the table without a lot of time.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword casserole, cheese, ravioli

Ingredients

  • 25 ounce bag frozen ravioli any variety
  • 24 ounces marinara or alfredo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and set it aside.
  • Spread about a quarter of the jar of sauce onto the bottom of the dish.
  • Arrange ravioli in a single layer on top of the sauce.
  • Spread half of the remaining sauce over top of the ravioli and sprinkle the listed spices evenly over the sauce (I didn’t really measure. I just eyeballed it.) Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella.
  • Layer on the rest of the ravioli (I didn’t have quite enough to make a full second layer, so I just spaced them out a bit more than I did on the bottom), spread the rest of the sauce on top, and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
  • Cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Let the dish cool for about 10 minutes and serve.

Joey was pleasantly surprised to come home to a meal that didn’t come in a styrofoam box, and I was super happy to actually use my kitchen for the first time in about a week.

This also reheated really well as leftovers for lunches later on in the week, which was a nice bonus that we appreciated.

For a family meal, pairing this with some garlic bread and big salad or some veggies would be perfect.

I’m sure Joey and I have several more restaurant meals in our future over the next couple of weeks, but I’m glad I have a quick recipe to use if I have a spare 45 minutes to spend in the kitchen.

And with being able to choose from a wide variety of ravioli fillings and sauces at my local grocery store, I don’t think we’ll get tired of this one any time soon.

This piece first appeared in print on May 9, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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Main Dish

Shredded cheese, potatoes make ‘grater’ casserole

If you need an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner, keep this recipe handy.

Glancing at my pantry this past week, I noticed a forgotten bag of Yukon gold potatoes nestled on the shelf.

I pulled it out, nervous for what I’d find, and discovered they were still mostly good but weren’t long for this world, so it was at that moment that I decided potatoes were on that evening’s menu.

Looking through my list of recipes to try, I remembered a simple one that was really just three awesome main ingredients: potatoes, hamburger and cheese.

You can’t go wrong with that combo, in my humble opinion.

The recipe calls for Russet potatoes, but my Yukons worked well, too. I probably used 10 to 12 of them, since they’re smaller, and it decreased my bake time by around 20 minutes, since they cook faster. I also used ground turkey instead of hamburger to make it a bit lighter.

This comes from the website “Genius Kitchen.” You can find it at https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/hamburger-potato-cheese-casserole-187672. I changed up the seasonings just a bit in my version.

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Cheesy Hamburger Potato Casserole

If you need an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner, keep this recipe handy.
Course Main Course
Keyword casserole, ground beef, hamburger, potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 large Russet potatoes sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk skim is fine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded (or cheese of your choice)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large skillet, brown the hamburger/turkey. Drain off any excess fat, and mix in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • In the meantime, place a layer of potato slices in the bottom of a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish with a lid (it’s fine if the potatoes overlap a bit if you have lots).
  • Dump half the meat mixture on top of the potatoes and spread it evenly.
  • Place another layer of potatoes in the dish and cover with the remaining meat mixture.
  • Finish out with a final layer of potatoes.
  • Set the dish aside and make your cheese sauce (you can use the same skillet).
  • Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour to make a roux and stir for about a minute to cook the flour taste out.
  • Add the milk and salt and pepper and whisk to break up any clumps.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to stir regularly to keep the milk from scalding. Once the mixture is thick and bubbling, remove it from heat (mine would not thicken to save my life, so I ended up adding quite a bit more flour, a little at a time, until I got a “sauce” consistency).
  • Add the cheese and stir until it is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over top of the potatoes and meat. Shake the dish a bit to help work the sauce down into the entire dish.
  • Place the covered dish in the oven for about 1-1/2 hours, taking the lid off for the last 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender and the top is browned.

This was a very simple recipe and reheated wonderfully as leftovers. If you’re cooking for picky eaters or kiddos, this is a great one to try. 

If you’re cooking for a more sophisticated adult palate, you might try adding some more spices to it. Crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic and a real onion in place of powder, and even some basil or paprika could have taken this to a new level. It’s a pretty blank canvas.

I was just happy to not let a bag of potatoes go to waste, and it was a good reminder that I should peer into the back of my pantry more often. Who knows what other treasures lie within?

This piece first appeared in print on March 21, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Main Dish

Verenike casserole will make you feel like a ham

Verenike casserole has the flavors of traditional verenike without all the effort to make it.

In a little less than a month, I’ll be heading off to one of my favorite places on Earth: Camp Mennoscah.

I love it for many reasons—the beauty, the people, the connection with God through nature—but one thing I always look forward to is the food.

While my co-director and I get to run around with a bunch of 8 year olds, there will be a group of wonderful volunteers in the kitchen, churning out tons of delicious meals for us to enjoy each day.

While the camp menu varies from week to week, there are a few staples that always seem to make it onto the list that I can’t get enough of.

One of those is verenike casserole.

If you’re not familiar, verenike is a dough pocket with cheese inside that is traditionally served with ham gravy. It’s an indulgence I adore, but it’s time consuming to make. Verenike casserole takes all the flavors of verenike and simplifies them into an amazing noodle dish.

The recipe I used comes from the cookbook “50 Years of Good Cooking and Camping at Camp Mennoscah,” which was edited by Nancy Becker. The recipe, which is called “Fettucini Casserole” in the book and was penned by Ruth Entz, is colloquially called “Verenike Casserole” by campers and camp staff. I’m leaving out the 1/4 cup of chopped onion.

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Verenike Casserole

Verenike casserole has the flavors of traditional verenike without all the effort to make it.
Course Main Course
Keyword casserole, ham, noodles, verenike

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles cooked according to package
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces dry curd cottage cheese
  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a 9-by-13-inch pan, combine the noodles, ham, 1-1/4 cups milk, sour cream and cottage cheese and some salt and pepper.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble. Add the 2 cups of milk slowly while continuing to stir. Bring the mixture up to a slow boil and then reduce heat back to medium to let the mixture thicken a little. You want it to coat the back of a spoon. If it’s too thick, add a touch more milk. If it’s too thin, add a touch more flour.
  • Pour the sauce over the mixture in the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

If you can’t find dry curd cottage cheese, I buy normal cottage cheese and then rinse and drain it extremely well before adding it to my mixture. 

Every time I make this, it’s always much better the day after, because the sauce really thickens up into something amazing, but it’s delicious straight out of the oven, too.

At camp, my favorite way to eat this is paired with some green beans and fresh bread. At home, I just load up a bowl and dig in.

There’s nothing better than food made with love, and after many trips out to Camp Mennoscah, I have never had a meal that didn’t contain a whole lot of love from volunteer cooks. I’m sure my trip in July will be no different.

This piece first appeared in print on June 21, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.